Canadian Armed Forces General to be appointed Commander of the new NATO Mission in Iraq
August 22, 2018 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Canada has always answered the call to serve and contribute to international peace and security. As a founding member of NATO, Canada has demonstrated dedicated and active leadership in the organization and will continue to do so for years to come under our new defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged.
Major-General Dany Fortin of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is Commander-designate of the new NATO Mission-Iraq (NMI). Major-General Fortin is currently the Commander of the 1st Canadian Division Headquarters in Kingston, Ontario and will assume command of NATO’s training and capacity building mission, set to begin in the fall of this year.
NMI was announced at the Brussels Summit in July 2018 and is being established in response to a request from the Government of Iraq. Canada’s contribution will help build security capacity and improve democratic governance. The mission will consist of approximately 580 NATO personnel. Up to 250 CAF members will join partner countries in helping Iraq build a more effective national security structure and improve training for Iraqi security forces.
Under Operation IMPACT, the CAF is already providing training and assistance to the Iraqi security forces and helping regional forces build their capacity. The NATO mission will complement Canada’s ongoing support to Iraq, as we work to lay the foundations for longer-term peace and stability. Canada’s leadership of the NMI will complement our existing efforts in the Global Coalition against Daesh, transitioning our support for Iraq to meet present needs and solidify gains.
“The appointment of Major-General Fortin is a demonstration of Canada’s leadership and strong commitment to the Alliance. Assuming command of the new NATO training and capacity building mission will provide important multilateral assistance to Iraqi Security Forces.”
Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister
“Major-General Fortin is an accomplished General Officer who will, I am certain, serve with distinction as Commander of the NATO Mission in Iraq. Accepting this leadership role supports Canada’s priorities in the Middle East and multilateralism. Canadian women and men in uniform are a visible symbol of Canada’s commitment to helping Iraq achieve long-term success in keeping its territory and people secure.”
General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff
“It is an honour and privilege to be designated as the Commander of this NATO mission. I am confident that our contribution will meet the expectations of Canadians, our Allies and partners and especially the population of Iraq as we seek to help their security institutions to ensure long-term peace and stability in Iraq.”
Major-General Dany Fortin
The CAF will provide up to 250 members and a dedicated aviation detachment of up to three helicopters for NMI for a 12-month period. This detachment will be capable of transporting personnel and equipment in support of NMI.
NATO personnel will advise Iraqi officials in the Ministry of Defence and the Office of the National Security Advisor and will train instructors, through the concept of “training the trainers,” at Iraqi military schools and academies in such areas as:
- Countering improvised explosive devices (C-IED);
- Civil-military planning;
- Armoured vehicle maintenance; and
- Military medicine.
The CAF is already providing training and assistance to the Iraqi security forces and helping regional forces build their capacity through Operation IMPACT, which is the CAF’s contribution to the Global Coalition to defeat Daesh in Iraq.
In cooperation with other NATO nations, the CAF also have approximately 20 Canadian Army engineers deployed during the fall of 2017 to deliver explosive threat training to the Iraqi security forces in Besmaya, Iraq, under the NATO Training and Capacity Building-Iraq (NTCB-I) initiative. NTCB-I is the NATO-led training program in Iraq launched in January 2017, which has seen NATO advisors working in the country, overseeing training activities and working with Iraqi authorities to reform their security institutions.
Department of National Defence
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